Landmark museum building opens in Armenia
Tuesday 20 September 2011
A landmark new building opened Tuesday at the Armenian museum for ancient manuscripts in the capital Yerevan, one of the largest collections of historically important documents in the world.
"This building is of international importance," said the Matenadaran museum's director Hrachya Tamrazian at the opening.
"It will become not only a centre for the development of studies of Armenian cultural heritage, but also an international research centre," he said.
The Matenadaran museum is "one of the oldest and richest book depositories in the world" according to the UN cultural organisation UNESCO.
Its collection, first established in the fifth century, includes more than 17,000 Armenian manuscripts dating back to medieval times alongside more than 3,000 manuscripts in other languages and some 100,000 other ancient documents.
The imposing new grey basalt structure on a hill in central Yerevan is equipped with a high-tech laboratory to preserve, restore and digitise manuscripts.
"Matenadaran is not just for storage, it is also a research centre," the museum's director of restoration Gayane Eliazian told AFP.
The opening attended by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian coincided with celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of Armenia's independence, which culminate in a showpiece military parade on Wednesday.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 3 George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
- 4 Headaches, fry ups, and hair of the dog - why do we get hangovers, and is there such thing as a 'cure'?
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly